Bird & Phillips hoping for altitude edge at GP2

Published
18/02/2015 by Steve Knowles

Western Australian canoe sprint pair Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips have spent part of their off-season training in the Perisher Valley.

T­he London Olympians stayed at the Cooma Ski Lodge, at an altitude of 1800 metres.

“The purpose of the camp was to make haemoglobin mass gains by sleeping and training at altitude,” Bird said.

“The camp also offered the opportunity to focus solely on training and recovery without the added stress of day to day external commitments.”

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The pair are looking forward to competing at the first major sprint regatta of the year.

“We are really excited to race at GP2,” Bird said.

“In the off-season, Jesse (Phillips) underwent shoulder surgery, and at the announcement of GP2 being a selection race, we were a bit worried about whether he would be ready in time, but he is steadily progressing and looks to be ready to rumble.”

“We hopped in the K2 for the first time since worlds about a week ago and the rhythm felt sweet.”

With Just a year until the 2016 Olympics, Bird recognises it’s a big year for the pair.

“2015 is important with Olympic qualification.”

“While there are always future goals and objectives, we take it a day at a time. Try to focus on what we need to do tomorrow at training and keep a keen interest on the mini wins that are up for grabs every day.”

“But we feel refreshed after a really productive off-season. There have been a few changes to our approach which we feel will bode well in remaining composed and refreshed for the big races to come.”

Grand Prix 2 will be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) from 19 to 22 February.